[CQ-Contest] CQWW HandKey Teams & Noodle Beams - History and Humor

Tony and Celia Becker becker at SPRINTMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 27 22:14:07 EST 1997

Hi All!

At 09:35 PM 11/20/97 -0500, W4AN wrote:
>Handkey #1

The next several paragraphs may start slow seem unrelated, but keep reading, 
it all hangs together in a weird way.  

I had just read this message when W6BIP called for help with his CW sending
program.  After setting it up, I showed him the "GH Noodle Beam" article in 
CQ-Contest, and told him about the CQWW Handkey thing knowing what would
I spent the next 30 min. listening to Bip tell me how these were not new

Bip has had a 40m "Noodle" beam for over 30 years (sorry Dr. Bafoofnik) and he
claims it was King of the Band when he built it.  W6BIP lives on a hilltop in 
San Francisco just a stone's throw west of Candlestick Park (The blimps go 
flying by the tower when the 49's play) and his lot is only 30' wide.  There
was no room to put up a full size yagi on 40m, so Bip added two pairs of 13'
long vaulting pole surplus from Stanford U.'s track and field team to an old 
16' tribander boom and put it at the top of his 60' Tristao crank up.  

The radiators are made of #10 house wire and the extra length just dangles. 
(No super-braid available back then.)  They break from the flexing in the wind
every year or two, but when cranked down, the elements are just 6' above the 
flat roof of his house and easily replaced.  He still has not used up the 
original 500' roll of MTW (so old it does not have the nasty clear coating 
which does a slow strip-tease in the UV.  There are children in the 

The only problem is the beast keeps trying to leap over the tribander at the 
top of the mast, and the noodles keep trying to assault the satellite dish 
and kidnap the spoon.

Anyway, Bip told me that he was going to give up using the bug, because at the
age of 86, he can no longer tell how many dits he is sending.  I told him
it was just something loose in his headphones rattling around because I could 
remember the W6BIP fist from working him in the Sweepstakes 20 years ago and 
his his bug sounds just to same to me now as it did back then.  :)  

"No, I can still hear well enough to tell good CW from bad, and I want to do 
this cold turkey."  (see, a Thanksgiving tie in, so there.)  "You take
my bug with you when you go."  

I protested that no one would recognize his call if not sent with the bug, but
he was resolute.  I told him that he might just as well take one of those 
newfangled vanity calls as give up the bug, but he was not persuaded.

"At least I'm not going to be silly and go back to my J38 like those wise
he quipped, "I have a computer and am no technophobe.  I'll learn to send
on the
keyboard.  At least when I am trying to bust a pileup I won't be risking
self-inflicted repetative stress injuries!"   (So THATs what causes it!
Maybe I
won't go blind after all!)

"Forget about the Hand Key team, at least they are a self limiting problem.  
What burns me up is this Green Giant guy claiming to have thought up the 
noodles.  What are we going to do about it?"

Well, to make a long story short, the callsigns, the bug and one of the
noodles is in place at a certain rare DXpedition.  I spoke to one of the 
operators tonight, and unfortunately all the weights are missing off the

No matter, each time any of the callsigns above happens to pop above the
they will switch to the bug just to see how long it takes for them to give 
up.  If a certain callsign is heard, they will switch to the noodle antenna
well!  :) :0P

73 and Happy Thanksgiving!

AE0M, Tony Becker - becker at sprintmail.com - Silicon Valley, USA

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